ST. LOUIS — The University of Michigan is America's top-rated public college, based on national rankings recently compiled by Buffalo Business First, a sister publication of the St. Louis Business Journal.
The University of North Carolina and the University of California-Berkeley are the runners-up in the 2020 academic standings, with the University of Virginia and the University of California-Los Angeles rounding out the top five.
The University of Missouri-Columbia is the highest ranked Missouri school on the list, coming in at No. 55. Five other Missouri schools ranked in the top 250, including Truman State University, Missouri University of Science & Technology, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Missouri-St. Louis and Missouri State University.
The University of Illinois in Champaign is the top Illinois school on the list, coming in at No. 11. Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville also ranked in the top 250.
Joining the six Missouri schools in the top 250 are eight schools total in Illinois and three Kansas universities. Six other schools in Missouri were included on the list of 485 colleges, which you can find below.
Public schools offer the most affordable path toward a bachelor's degree, which is why Business First has been rating them since 2015. Michigan topped the initial standings in 2015, North Carolina briefly took the top spot in 2016, and Michigan has held the lead ever since 2017.
The annual rankings are based on a 22-part formula that analyzes the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. Click here for a detailed explanation of the methodology.
The formula gives the highest marks to schools with highly selective admissions processes, strong retention and graduation rates, impressive earnings by alumni, generous resources, affordable tuitions and housing costs, diverse faculties and student bodies, and economically robust communities.
THE TOP 25 COLLEGES
This year's Business First rankings encompass 485 public institutions that grant bachelor's degrees and have full-time enrollments larger than 1,000 students.
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